Oral History Collection


In the fall of 2006 undergraduate students in Dr. Elizabeth Nix's history class, "The New South and Civil Rights" began conducting interviews about the urban disturbances of April 1968. Students were able to talk to a racially diverse group of informants whose 1968 situations ranged from a family that lost their home and business in the upheaval, to an African-American physician who defended his fledgling private practice, to people who participated in the looting.

The interviews also captured the experiences of several National Guardsmen, both black and white, as well as those of teachers, ministers, teenagers and housewives. Students made audio and video recordings and transcribed the interviews. Students in “Exploring the Past” in the fall of 2007 conducted additional interviews and researched the context of the times. Their work can be found on the site as well. This was the first time any of these students had attempted the demanding job of transcription, and they were working under a deadline. Readers may find spelling errors and inconsistencies. We are in the process of reviewing the transcripts to make them as accurate and as useful as possible.

Student interns including Nyasha Chikowore, Maria Paoletti and Duane Howard and Nora Feinstein continued the project in 2007 and 2008. UB staff member John Schwallenberg has been instrumental in the ongoing process of completing interviews, making transcriptions and editing.

In the spring of 2007, WYPR, Baltimore's NPR affiliate and a media sponsor of Baltimore 68: Riots and Rebirth, joined UB in a partnership that added a new dimension to the oral history project. WYPR provided equipment, studio time and the interviewing expertise of senior news professionals , Fraser Smith and Sunni Khalid, in an effort to capture the memories of Baltimoreans who held public office or represented distinct constituencies during the disturbances. Transcripts of WYPR's interviews are available here together with the work of UB's student oral historians.


In citing the interviews please use the following citation:

Name of Individual, Baltimore '68: Riots & Rebirth Collection (hereafter BSR), University of Baltimore